MICHAEL STUMP FOUNDED STUMPTOWN - A Historical Look At Village

(08/11/2017)

The Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, established in 1835,
is Stumptown's most notable historical structure

Across the road from the Mt. Pisgah Church
is an old cemetery, reposing their are early
ministers Rev. John Stump and Rev. M. B. Stump

By Bob Weaver

Stumptown is a fading Gilmer County village, on US 33-119 in Gilmer County, at the confluence of the left and right forks of Steer Creek, which drains 184 square miles of land that is still 90% forested.

Established by Michael Stump III, of the historical four Michael Stumps, a post office was established in 1883 and closed in 1997.

The journey of the four Michael Stumps is well documented from Germany to this region of Gilmer-Calhoun County, the descendants settling up and down the Steer Creek valley and along the Little Kanawha River.

They dug their roots deep and wide, becoming farmers, merchants, and politicians.

Early abandoned house still standing
identified as the Minney House

Early house occupied by Delbert and Jean
Sears identified as the Bennett House

The last two of the historical Michael Stumps are buried in the community with marked graves, including surveyor Michael Stump IV.

He lived to be 97, and was married to Elizabeth Bush, having 14 children.

A story passed down by Michael IVs family said in his last years he developed severe dementia, and with few resources, and had to be placed in a cage and cared for by the family. The Stump history is recorded in "Michael Stump Sr. of Virginia (1709-1768)" by Thurman Stump.

Today, the most significant historical structure in Stumptown is the Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, established in 1835, and a few historical houses.

Col. D. S. Dewees in his "Recollections of a Lifetime," (1905) recalls in his early days, making his home with Michael Stump in 1847 near Stumptown.

Dewees recalls that the first Michael Stump in the Steer Creek Valley arrived about 1804, at the time a sparsely settled area of Harrison County.

Perhaps the most historical figures in Stumptown today are Delbert and Jean Sears, who have operated a store there for 57 years.

Delbert, who is now 83, operated the store and service station at two separate locations, said "It's been a way to make a living and be connected to people in this community"

Today, the main street (US 33-119) is still lined with a few houses and remnants of former buildings of commerce.

The Sears' have operated store in community for 57 years

See   HISTORIC STUMP FAMILY WAS 'FRUITFUL' - Family Brought Life To Region, Recalling The Michael Stumps

Historic Photos Below: Norma Knotts Shaffer Collection:

Daniel Huffman Home at Stumptown
Photo courtesy of Robert H. Knotts, Sr.

Forest and Nora Blackshire Vannoy Home at Stumptown
Left to right: Nora Blackshire Vannoy, Noble Vannoy, Virgie
Vannoy, Ardeth Vannoy, Ardell Vannoy, Wilma Vannoy Kool
Photo courtesy of Jo Ann Stevens


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